Confessions of a First-Year Auditor

Emily Hays

By: Emily Hays, AAP, Manager, Audit Services

At every move in my banking career, I thought I had a solid foundation of banking in general. However, as I stepped into each new role, I quickly realized how many nooks and crannies of financial services there were and how much I had to learn. Moving into the Audit Services position with EPCOR was no exception. I had already obtained my AAP accreditation and had a decent amount of experience with operations and the ACH Network under my belt, but after spending a few days with my new coworkers discussing real-life scenarios, rules, regulations and more at a three-day staff meeting, I knew I had to quickly put on my student cap and become a sponge, absorbing as much information as possible. The good news, however, is that I had an overflowing amount of knowledge at my fingertips with my coworkers, and their enthusiasm for payments and their undeniable dedication to our members was infectious.

In the beginning, there was so much about this position that was new to me. I had done little traveling in my personal life and even less in my professional life., I knew I was expected to travel but it was not until I was knee-deep in the experience that I realized what it truly meant to travel as an EPCOR auditor. Being on the road, most of the time by myself, I have learned a new level of independence. Dining out by myself isn’t so awful and I found a love for the Midwest I didn’t think was possible. The people in the Midwest are truly second to none. The biggest change for me was the type of customer I was servicing. I was no longer aiming to please an account holder or a small-business owner; I was educating financial professionals, some with decades more experience in the industry than I. Not only was I able to learn from my coworkers but also from our veteran members who were so gracious to help grow this EPCOR newbie. To the members, I whole-heartedly say THANK YOU.

My first lesson being on this side of an audit was that they aren’t so bad… at least, not audits conducted by EPCOR. It seems that, when conducted by EPCOR, audits aren’t as scary for the person being audited as they may be with someone else. I dreaded nothing more as an employee of a financial institution than coming into work knowing the auditors were coming. Preparing documents for incoming auditors felt dreadful and daunting. As an auditor, I want you to know that we appreciate all the efforts in gathering the requested documentation and empathize with the time it takes away from your day to day work. EPCOR’s Audit Services team genuinely loves what we do and strive to do an excellent job every single time. Our purpose is not to get anyone in trouble or outshine hard work with every small error, but to educate and help prepare members for the regulators. Having also had the opportunity to meet individuals in the regulatory field, I find their auditing efforts applaudable.

My time with EPCOR so far has been a wonderful experience of ups and downs; lessons learned and successes. The management team and staff support me in building on my strengths and learning from my weaknesses. I look forward many more years with an association I am very proud to be a part of. Thank you for making my first year something I’ll always remember!

The Early Bird Gets the DISCOUNT!

Do you want to have Emily, or another one of our auditors, conduct your audit this year? Get yourself on our calendar now and you can take advantage of our Early Bird discount! Reach out to Member Support at memserve@epcor.org or by calling 800.500.0100 to take advantage of this deal today!